La Petite Reine, La Classe Américaine, JD Prod,

Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Malcolm McDowell

Silent Movie Star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is at the peak of his career. In a somewhat loveless marriage, (obviously he loves his dog who is his real co-star, George accident bumps into actress wanna-be Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) outside his movie premiere and has the world asking “Who is this mysterious lady”. But as studio owner Al Zimmer (John Goodman) warns him, talkies are on the scene, and that is the future. With George’s mentoring, Peppy moves on to become a talking movie star while George fights the talkies, and sticks to his guns that it’s a gimmick that will never last. This puts George on a downward spiral that may costs him his fortune, his career, and maybe even his life.

Well, what to write about The Artist? You could write a book about how the academy selects the wrong best picture every year, or about the horrible films that were chosen, and the really good ones that were skipped over. But this is not a bad film. Is it the best picture of 2012? Certainly not. But it certainly deserved to be nominated with the others. It is unique, and very interesting, in an experimental film kind of way. The story is certainly not original, nor is it unique. If you’ve seen A Star is Born or the remakes, then you’ve seen this story. There have been a lot of stories (real and fictional) about the switch from silent films to talking films and those that did and did not make the switch. What is unique is the method by which the told the story. It’s not realistic. It’s like the gimmick of Pleasantville where the people who lived in the 1950’s Black and White TV town did actually see everything in black and white, and when they started to grow up, they suddenly started to see color. Here, because our star, George, stars in silent films, then he, and everyone else, is silent 24 hours a day. When he has a nightmare about the coming of the talking films, suddenly he can hear things like the wind, a dog’s bark, people laughing, water running, and it causes extreme horror to him. Meanwhile, Peppy works in talking films, but she doesn’t speak a single word in the entire film. I don’t believe that the silent movie stars were actually deaf. 🙂 The idea here is to symbolize the whole thing, and as a gimmick, it does work.

This film is very warm and enjoyable. I cried a little, and I laughed a little. (It is an awkward situation sitting in a dark theater with a bunch of people, and there is absolutely no dialog. Naturally the music/soundtrack is awesome, like a real silent film, but still when someone coughs or makes a sound, it’s a bit awkward.

The people who made this film really had to enjoy it immensely, and that comes over. Watching it is also a wonderful experience, very warm and happy, and delightful film. I am certainly glad I went to see it, and it is a very different experience.

So what I would recommend is to take in this unique movie experience, but don’t look for a unique story that you’ve never seen before, or that will disappoint you. This is not about the story, it’s about the WAY the story is told that makes it charming.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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    Ed's Review Dot Com » This Week on DVD – 6/26/2012 said

    June 26 2012 @ 11:02 am

    […] The Artist [Click Here for Ed's Review] […]

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